Dysphonia is a medical issue where an individual has an abnormally hoarse, breathy, raspy or husky voice. Dysphonia can manifest in a number of ways in a patient and may be due to many different causes. If an individual notices any change in their voice that lasts for longer than a week or two, they should seek medical care to diagnose the cause.
Dysphonia can occur in people of any age. It can last for weeks, months or decades, depending on the cause. Usually, it is treatable, but treatment methods vary widely and can include prescription medications, vocal therapy, injections and surgery.2‘Vocal Cord Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts: Condition: UT Southwestern Medical Center.’ Condition | UT Southwestern Medical Center, utswmed.org/conditions-treatments/vocal-cord-nodules-polyps-and-cysts/.
1. Overuse & Illness
Dysphonia is commonly caused by overuse of the voice, which can lead to laryngitis, or inflammation of the voice box (larynx). Excessive overuse can cause scarring, which can permanently damage the voice box. Usually, vocal rest resolves short-term laryngitis.
Another cause of laryngitis is a viral respiratory illness, which can irritate both the vocal folds and the voice box. The voice box can also become inflamed due to an allergic reaction. Coughing and post-nasal drip can cause substantial irritation of the throat, which may lead to hoarseness. Another cause of dysphonia is laryngopharyngeal reflux, which occurs when acid from the stomach causes throat irritation.1‘Hoarse Voice (Dysphonia).’ Hoarse Voice (Dysphonia): Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention, www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/hoarse-voice-dysphonia.